Sunday, February 23, 2020

EPA issues health advisory levels for algal toxins

In the lead up to summer, the peak season for algal blooms, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released health advisory values for levels of algal toxins in drinking water, a problem that affects 30 to 48-million Americans.

“Nutrient pollution and harmful algal blooms are among America’s most serious and growing environmental challenges,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said. “EPA has released health advisory values on algal toxins based on the best available science to ensure the safety of America’s drinking water.”

Algal blooms can affect rivers, lakes and bays, which utilities often use as sources of drinking water. The new health advisory levels are not regulations, but they identify the point at which contaminants can have adverse heath affects. The advisory also suggests testing and treatment methods.

“We will work closely with our partners at the state and local levels on monitoring, treating and communicating about the toxins, as well as addressing the sources of nutrients that fuel these harmful algal blooms,” McCarthy said.

Following the release, the EPA is seeking input from stakeholders about other ways it can support states and utilities, and to see if additional support documents are called for before algal blooms begin in earnest.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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